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On the activity feed of my personal GitHub profile (not the one that I use for company-related GitHub activities), one of the recent activities was a bug report I created on an open source project related to various sites hosting mostly NSFW fiction. At the time I just created the issue without thinking about it, but now that I noticed that this issue appeared on my GitHub activity feed, I am mildly concerned that having this item on my activity feed may end up affecting me negatively later on in my career. However, one could also interpret this as being active in the open source community, regardless of the nature of the open source project.

Am I right to have mild concern about this, or am I being overly careful?

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    Note: I do not know if the tags are the right ones for this question. If better tags apply, please feel free to edit them in
    – Nzall
    Sep 30 '20 at 7:01
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    Much like all things in life, it‘s rarely about you, and always about those who want to be affected, will be. An employer, coworker, human decides that people shouldn‘t be doing naughty, sexy things, particularly those that person is against, and finds out you readily take part. They will be offended, and may or may not usr their power to do something about it.
    – morbo
    Sep 30 '20 at 7:27
  • Definitely have it removed if you possibly can. You can't be "overly careful" about personal hygiene, your professional presence, or safe driving. OF COURSE have it removed.
    – Fattie
    Sep 30 '20 at 13:57
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No-one might even look.

As a hiring manager, I don't necessarily go and look in any detail at the GitHub histories of anyone applying for a job with me. If they mention it, I might if I'm curious, but I have a hiring procedure (as most companies do) that doesn't depend on someone even having a GitHub project, so I usually wouldn't look. Others may differ, of course.

If they look, they might not notice.

If I am looking at someone's GitHub, I'm going to be doing it to assess their technical abilities. It feels very unlikely that I would look too closely at something that wasn't code they'd checked in. If I did go and look at bug reports they'd raised, then I might not even realise what the thing they raised the report for is about (if it's a project called ThisSiteIsDefinitelyNotSafeForWork, then maybe. If it's just called ProjectAwesomeCodename, probably not).

If they do notice, it shouldn't matter.

It's your personal GitHub profile. You won't be using it at work so why should it matter? Perhaps if it were something illegal, but on the assumption that it's not - consenting adults can and do carry out NSFW activities when they're not at work. (The clue is in the name!) Your personal interests along those lines (if that's even what it is; for all I know, you may have been contributing on a purely technical basis without any interest in the actual content) should have no bearing on work.

Of course, I can't say it won't matter. Some people may feel entitled for whatever reason to make judgements about other people's personal lives and spare time activities. I don't know how they would justify that, and I personally would not want to work for someone like that, but I can't guarantee it won't happen.

Additionally, "NSFW" activities do exist and do happen, sometimes even in a professional capacity. I once worked with someone who spent her weekends working on a "sex chat" phoneline. It made no difference to the work she did for our company, so wasn't an issue. Also, in a former job, one of our largest customers was a company that broadcast a variety of pornographic TV channels. Well, they were a customer like any other. I suspect that most people would understand that and not hold such experience against someone who did work for them. Either of those would be much bigger things. Either way, one bug report on someone's personal GitHub account should make no difference to most - though again, no guarantees that it will never have any effect on anyone.

Do you really want to present a false front to look "professional"?

While I don't recommend talking about your spare time, potentially NSFW activities or interests at work (...obviously); actively hiding aspects of your personal life only seems likely to cause problems down the road. If somehow your contribution to the project gets discovered later, will you look like a liar? And besides, how far do you go? Do you ensure there are no photos on the internet of you with an alcoholic drink in your hand, in case a future employer frowns on drinking? Avoid wearing clothing with sports teams logos, in case a future employer supports a different team? Where does it stop?

Obligatory XKCD: https://xkcd.com/137/ (warning, NSFW language!)

In summary: in my view, there is no reason to be concerned. It'll probably never be a problem, and if it is, it's likely that the potential future employer has unreasonable views on the (lack of) separation between someone's working life and their private life.

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It is Github. Anybody who knows how to search there is already more technically minded. They will likely not care, or might even sympathize. If they know a technical way to remove it, they might think: "They could have removed this. Do they not care about professionalism? Or don't they not know how github works?" So do double-check if there is a way to remove this.

Also: you flagged this with Belgium. If you ever plan apply to a company from the US, Russia, or any Arabic country, it might be a bigger problem. But in Europe? Not so much.

If you are really concerned you can also try to fill your history with many contributions to other (not nsfw) projects. That way this one will be less noticable.

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    I checked whether there's a way to remove it, and it appears the only way to remove it is to ask the repository maintainers to delete the entire issue, which is a quite severe reaction and they might not do.
    – Nzall
    Sep 30 '20 at 7:39
  • @Nzall You could ask them if they’d be willing to delete the issue after it’s been solved.
    – nick012000
    Sep 30 '20 at 9:33

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